During his campaign for mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa tried not to remind voters too often of his past leadership of the ACLU of Southern California. (Jim Hahn, conversely, pointed it out over and over. Great strategy, eh?) Villaraigosa's inhibition faded after his landslide victory when he picked Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals—the husband of ACLU executive director Ramona Ripston—to give him the oath of office. Last Friday, the mayor fully embraced his past by appointing Ripston to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. The letter to the City Council reads:
Subject to your confirmation, I have today appointed Ms. Ramona Ripston to the Board of Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority for the term ending June 30, 2007. Ms. Ripston will be filling the vacancy created by Christianne Kerns, whom i removed on October 14, 2005.
I certify that in my opinion Ms. Ripston is especially qualified by reason of training and experience for the work which shall devolve upon her, and that i make the appointment solely in the interest of the City.
The appointment was referred yesterday to the council's Housing, Community & Economic Development committee for consideration.